"THE FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD"
"Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” -- 1 Peter 1:2
It is the common practice of false prophets to pervert God's foreknowledge into a denial of his total sovereignty in salvation, making election and grace to be determined not by the will of God but by the will of man. Satan's messengers of deceit, in their utter contempt for the glory of God and great admiration for the "dignity of man's free-will," tell us that God's foreknowledge is foreseen faith and obedience in men. They tell us that "God foresaw from eternity which sinners would be willing to respond favorably to the gentle impulses of the Holy Spirit upon their hearts. Therefore, because God knew some would believe, he predestinated them to salvation and elected them to eternal life."
Is this what Peter means when he declares that all believers are "elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father?" Of course not! Such perverse doctrine has the slime of the serpent's tail upon it. It is a base perversion of the grace of God. It is the doctrine of antichrist, for it makes salvation the work of man rather than the work of God’s free grace in Christ. It is a denial of man's total depravity, for it declares that there is something good and noble in some men, -- a natural willingness in some to trust Christ. It denies the sovereignty of God, for it makes God's purpose of grace in election and predestination to be determined by and conditioned upon the will of the sinner. It turns the whole work of grace upside down. Free-willers tell us that God predestinated some to salvation because he foreknew they would repent and trust Christ, while others would not.
The Book of God says exactly the opposite. Read Acts 13:48. -- "And when the Gentiles heard (the Gospel of God’s saving grace and glory in Christ), they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed."
False religion makes God's foreknowledge of man's faith the cause of election and grace. But the Word of God affirms that God's election and grace is the cause of man's faith (Eph. 1:3-14). We who believe God, believe because we were foreordained unto eternal life before the worlds were made.
What is the importance of this distinction? If God chose us to salvation because of what he foreknew we would do, then the difference between those who are saved and those who are lost is man's free-will and man has a right to boast before God. If however, as the Bible universally declares, our faith is the fruit of God's election, then the difference between the saved and the lost is a difference which grace has made. And God alone shall have all praise.
"Who maketh thee to differ from another?” How do you answer? Do you make yourself to differ; or has God alone made you to differ? “What hast thou that thou didst not receive?” Anything? Every child of God readily replies, “No! All that I have, God gave me. All that I am in Christ, God made me to be!” “Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7).